A photographic series showing the work progression of The Embrace Team, a sub-group of students, teachers, and professionals participating in a three day Ebola Design Charette hosted by the University of Michigan Penny Stamps School of Art and Design.
Each morning started with the collective group gathering in the Penny Stamps School of Art and Design auditorium to discuss the project and focus of the day.
The initial work of the team was to explore ideas in dialogue. With a diverse group of collaborators and experts, discussions moved into deeper explorations of concepts that could have merit, which led to the idea of 'The Embrace'.
Once the idea was established, we began to explore the position and mechanics of an embrace within a frame structure upon which we could build a prototype.
Existing protective hazmat suits provided the sleeves needed to quickly assemble the first prototype. Working quickly allowed for rapid testing and iteration, which was important to the process.
Sleeves taped to roll stock of the same hazmat material allowed us to begin exploring design attributes and viability of the idea.
We immediately knew that a viewing window would be needed to create a more healing and meaningful embrace.
Size and location of sleeve slots were found to be important especially when considering different heights of individuals.
Clear plastic to form a view window was cut and placed with tape into the prototype. Tremendous excitement was shared by the team in seeing our idea take shape so quickly.
Information from our initial physical studies allowed us to move into the next phase of design refinement towards the construction of our final presentation prototype.
With design specifications in place, team members began the fabrication of a more refined prototype.
Sleeve patterns were now more precisely sewn together.
Final assembly and positioning on the frame structure.
Teams moved their final prototypes into a public hallway where all could see and experience.
“Our focus has been to explore the journey of infected individuals, to design solutions with empathy for maintaining connections with family, community, and solving the most basic human need that Ebola steals…the ability to be touched.”
—The Embrace Team